NY Court Orders Longfin to Pay $223M to Investors After Blockchain Pivot Turns Securities Fraud

Longfin, a now-defunct crypto firm that raised $27 million in 2017, has been ordered by a Manhattan federal judge to repay $223 million to its investors along with interest in the alleged security fraud case. Longfin acquired an undervalued company back in 2017, after which its share prices surged by 1000%.

The judgment came on July 29, where the federal judge concluded that Longfin, along with its chief executive Venkata Meenaalli, CTO Vivek Ratakonda, and the director of two related companies, Suresh Tammineedi collectively owned a nine-figure sum. The case’s ruling has granted a default judgment, as requested by lead plaintiff Mohammad Malik in January. The judge in his decision noted that Malik:

“offered sufficient evidentiary support through declarations and exhibits submitted in support of his claim for damages, and no evidentiary hearing is required.”

A Brief History of the Case

Longfin launched an IPO as a Regulation A+ offering back in September 2017, which allowed the firm to raise funds from both accredited and non-accredited investors. It also obtained waivers from several registration requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It went on to raise $27 million by December and called its IPO a successful event.

At the time, the firm also claimed that it had become the first publicly listed fintech firm under Reg A+ on Nasdaq. Soon after a successful IPO, Longfin acquired Ziddu.com, a cloud storage solution that claimed it had incorporated blockchain technology. The price of Longfin’s share surged by 1000% from $5 a share to $140 in early 2018. However, shareholders accused the company of issuing false and misleading statements, which led to the 1000% surge.

The firm is also accused of selling its shares after the surge, which prompted the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to look into the firm’s working and investigate any wrongdoing. The SEC started their investigation in April 2018, and soon after, the price of the shares crashed.

In September 2019, the SEC received a judgment in its favor against Longfin, where a New York federal court found that the crypto firm falsified documents and data to receive Regulation A+ offering.

The court also found that Longfin lied about primarily operating from the US and lied about qualifying shares and shareholders sold in the offering. The court found that $66 million in revenue generated by the firm came from “fictitious revenue and sham commodities transaction” equivalent to 90% of the company’s revenue.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

The Curious Case of the New Bubble in the ‘DeFi’ Town of Crypto

As in 2017, Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) was the craze in the crypto industry, in 2020, it’s decentralized finance (DeFi) that is rocking the world of crypto enthusiasts.

This year, DeFi has grown at a fast pace, with a record $3.5 billion value locked in this sector. Also, 4 million ETH are locked in these protocols.

Many argue that DeFi space is highly risky, which as we saw with numerous DeFi hacks this year, holds true. But at the same time, it is in its early stages, with innovations taking place every day. It is actually up to the community if it will be the start of something truly decentralized.

When it comes to decentralization, amidst the DeFi frenzy has emerged a new bubble “YFI” — a “completely valueless 0 supply token.”

The latest DeFi token that boasts of 1,000% yield as a result of a rapid spike in demand, but still yEarn has previously delivered annual returns of about 10% constantly for its lending pool.

The most interesting thing about this token by yEarn protocol (previously called iEarn) is that it started with $0 value but overnight skyrocketed to $2,500, driving $150 million of deposits, as ‘farming it’ yielded a whopping 1,000% annual returns for some traders.

Yearn Finance Chart
Source: CoinGecko

“Those of you in the old school who believe this is a bubble simply have not understood the new mathematics of one of the most fairly distributed project launched since BTC,” said analyst CL.

A yield aggregator, yEarn, redirects users’ deposits to lending markets with the best rates.

Unlike other projects where teams keep the majority of the token and in result voting power, the entirety of this protocol is in the hands of the community even though yEarn founder Andre Cronje shared In its official announcement that they want to give up control over its governance token “mostly because we are lazy.”

Yet another interesting aspect of this token is its supply, which the community is voting to cap at 30,000. These YFI tokens are distributed to those who deposit funds to yEarn pools, which soared by $150 million in just three days after the distribution first started.

The flow of money into its liquidity pool on the Curve DEX had the volume of yCurve surpassing $100 million.

Interestingly, yEarn’s unconventional approach has led the community to propose relocating tokens back to the founder. “If this proposal passes then it would be the one of the most legendary stories in crypto,” said analyst Qiao Wang.

Even the control of YFI has been put in a multi-signature wallet, which requires 6 out of 9 participants to agree on changes, and the founder Cronje is not a member of it.

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Author: AnTy

Is it that Time Again? Yes it is! The Market is giving All the Signs that it is an Alt Season

Everything is popping!

Is anyone getting 2017 vibes?

Tis’ the time when gains floweth over.

Today, even bitcoin jumped to $9,480 with $1.2 billion in ‘real’ trading volume.

Now, when it comes to altcoins, even XRP spiked more than 7% to nearly $0.20. And yes, Chainlink (LINK) continues to make new highs every day, the latest one being $6.38.

Cardano (ADA) has started to simmer down after days of pumping while Dogecoin (DOGE) is still going strong after Tik Tok users took it upon themselves to push it to $1, but it is still almost 27,000% off from the target. So, that’s to be seen.

VeChain (VET) is also popping today with 24.3% greens; in the past week, it has been up 125%.

So, why are Altcoins’ Surging?

In 2020 after the March sell-off, cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, recovered handsomely, but while the world’s leading digital asset entered into a tight range, altcoins took this time to fire off.

For the past couple of months, bitcoin’s dominance has also been chipping off, which has been working in favor of altcoins.

Moreover, as we saw in the second quarter of 2020, the stock market has been growing off the charts as well. This growth was propelled by young investors who were at home during the lockdown with free time, internet, and of course, stimulus money in their hands and apps like Robinhood that charges zero commission at their disposal.

The young generation put their money in the stocks that have the least value, even if they were of bankrupt companies. And now, their attention seems to be on crypto.

Robinhood, however, only has seven cryptos listed viz. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dogecoin (DOGE), and the last one is already being pumped.

This time zoomers had Tik Tok with them to advertise it among their peers and sent the prices mooning.

“Think TikTok will actually become the biggest distribution channel for crypto products,” said Qiao Wang, an independent trader, and startup investor. And if the US bans it, “Then a TikTok copycat will be built and *it* will become the biggest distribution channel.”

This also means, ‘one-man marketing army,’ Tron founder Justin Sun has also found a way to pump his coin.

Does this mean the alt season has officially kicked off?

It looks like it!

But according to analyst Mati Greenspan, “This is more like Alt-Wednesday with a hope of turning into Alt-July,” because “a season implies that it lasts a while.”

But given that “It’s officially “refresh blockfolio every 30 seconds” season,” we are getting signs that say it is an altcoin season.

According to analyst Rekt Capital, over the years, Dogecoin has played an important role in crypto, it either predicts altcoin season or confirms them.

“This time Dogecoin has confirmed Altseason,” he said.

And who doesn’t believe it’s all season, technical analyst Pentoshi has all the checkpoints including soaring Doge price, BTC dominance which has broken a 3-year trend, and the retail on Robinhood and Tik Tok.

Some believe this wildness in the market means Chainlink won’t stop here either; it will only go on to make even new highs.

Amidst this frenzy, trader Crypto Yoda warns about staying vigilant. “Remain cautious about the possibility of BTC suddenly ending this momentum with an impulsive move.”

Meanwhile, Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao feels, “Not all alts will pump during the next #altszn,” which is “more like 95%.”

“If a project has been around for 3 years but not much to show for, then…A few that have consistently pushed development will thrive,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

XRP Falls to a New Low against BTC, Could Further Fall to Find New Support

Yesterday, XRP dropped to a new low against BTC, since December 2017. The fourth-largest cryptocurrency dropped to 0.0000205 yesterday in the BTC market after the world’s leading digital currency jumped on the back of the Fed’s dovish tone.

This has been while last week, the digital asset entered the top spot on emerging trends with a massive spike in its social volume. There have also been potential indicators of an upcoming decoupling from bitcoin but nothing has happened yet.

After EOS, XRP is the one that has lost the most over 22% against BTC in 2020 so far.

According to the veteran trader, Peter Brandt, if XRP/BTC doesn’t find its way back to the support line, it could fall further to find new support at 0.0000194.

Back in March, Brandt broke its promise to never again post a chart of XRP only to share that the digital currency has all the “white space” to fall in. This time, he “just cannot stand not taking a shot at XRP when it deserves to be shot at.”

Many XRP enthusiasts argue that instead of comparing XRP with BTC, it should be measured in the USD market. However, even against the US dollar, XRP isn’t doing any good. As we reported, XRP recorded the second least amount of gains in the top 25 cryptos.

As a matter of fact, while bitcoin has been holding steady for the past few weeks, altcoins have been rallying. Although small-cap altcoins are really the winners of this rally, large-cap altcoins are also surging, if not as much as small-cap coins.

In 2020, so far, Ethereum has seen an increase of 87%, BSV 99%, Cardano 144%, Tezos 114%, and Chainlink 133% to name a few.

Even Ripple’s competitor Stellar Lumens (XLM) registered a jump of 68% YTD in comparison to XRP’s 3.75%. Currently, XRP/USD is trading at $0.20, with 0.35% losses.

All of this while Ripple continues to grapple with lawsuits, however, CEO Brad Garlinghouse says these legal cases fail to show how the company and Garlinghouse committed fraud in selling XRP in 2017.

Ripple’s lawyers are arguing that plaintiff Bradley Sostack’s amended complaint, filed in March, must show how the fraud was committed and that it was done knowingly. They are now asking the court to dismiss the case with prejudice and without leave to amend.

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Author: AnTy

Forsage: “Decentralized” Ethereum Blockchain Smart Contract Scheme Rises

As a news organization who began covering the crypto landscape in early 2017, there has been one constant that remains to be consistent so far. And that is, multi-level marketing and cryptocurrency-related, blockchain-based business opportunities simply have all ended up in complete failure and loss for the majority of its memberbase.

Breaking onto the crypto scene in April 2020, Forsage is a fairly new network marketing company, but it proposed an interesting concept – joining their blockchain smart contract setup with a multilevel marketing company for users to earn cryptocurrency rewards by referring and participating in the matrix that is flooded with buzzwords “decentralized”. Found at Forsage.io, with a smart contract-based membership, investors are invited to join the Ethereum Blockchain Matrix Project.

forsage-trends

But is Forsage the real thing, or is there more to this brand than what meets the eye? How will its’ fate be any different than the biggest crypto-industry scams like BitConnect, USI Tech, OneCoin, PlusToken or CloudToken? The list goes on regarding cryptocurrency scams as the graveyard continues to collect HYIPs, coin multipliers, trading bots, recyclers, referral matrixs, mining pools and pyramid schemes alike.

Let’s unravel this mystery together and review some of the inner workings regarding Forsage to see if it is truly 100% decentralized and not prone to hacks or scam tactics because it has no admin or owner.

What is Forsage?

The big selling point of the Forsage multilevel marketing scheme is that they have developed the first 100% decentralized smart contract. This “revolutionary” smart contract technology is based on the Ethereum blockchain, which they originally started up in February this year.

More specifically, the official Forsage website states that they’ve “deployed a self-executing smart contract on the Ethereum Blockchain that exists in perpetuity and cannot be modified by any entity.” The smart contract “facilitates peer-to-peer commission payments between its program participants.”

Also described as the Ethereum Blockchain Matrix Project, this smart contract is supposed to offer any participants “the ability to directly engage in personal and business transactions.” The website itself is vague (at best), attempting to entice other individuals in the cryptocurrency space with known terms for this digital asset and blockchain technology. More or less, it looks like the company is trying to seem more knowledgeable than what their usage of these terms implies.

Anyone that has done their research on this industry or even smart contracts specifically knows that Forsage didn’t actually create the first decentralized smart contract in the world, despite their claims. Before blockchain technology was even developed, smart contracts were proposed in the 1990s, and Ethereum’s launch in 2015 came with their support for decentralized smart contracts. In fact, these types of smart contracts have already been used in use cases outside of crypto.

So, the idea behind the Forsage MLM affiliate marketing and referral program is for people to buy into the compensation plan and pass up sales to sponsors and uplines like a traditional commission structure found in network marketing business opportunities.

Decentralization and Forsage: How Does It Work?

Decentralized? We talking decentralization or just a mild form of it that is all but the same as centralization, just based on a blockchain? Much like any other MLM plan or pyramid scheme, the entire program is fairly straightforward in the commitment that consumers have when they join – pay the membership fee.

The way that anyone makes money through a pyramid structure can vary, but most of that fee goes through the pyramid of other members before them who get a fraction of the fee as commission. Once an investment is paid, the only way that new members will be able to make money themselves is when they recruit someone else and up the chain the commissions go depending on how many levels you are qualified for given your investment risk and tolerance.

forsage-compensation-plan

The membership payment is 0.5 ETH, which is presently $99.36 as of May 15th, 2020. After the new participant pays this fee, they are asked to send on the link to join to their friends. For every person that uses their link to sign up, the member will get 0.025 Eth commission, paid directly from the new member’s entry fee. The remaining free is sent to higher levels in the pyramid, funneling most of the percentage of the fee to the creators of Forsage.

The rewards plan is a bit confusing but is presented like this visual shows:

forsage-commission-structure

All members recruited will go into what’s called an X3 or X4 matrix used by Forsage. The slot fees go to the ETH wallet of the referrer, and the fee to joint goes up to the top of the pyramid. Ultimately, the only sustainably profitable level to be at is as the owner, and the people profiting the last will be the ones at the bottom of the pyramid.

And as the story goes, those who got in earlier and got qualified will now reap the benefits of the newest members who register, get signed up and join Forsage by paying their multi-tiered level pyramid.

The Forsage Smart Contract: Revolutionary or Radical?

The official website at Forsage.io says that all data is is stored on the blockchain and publicly accessible via etherscan.io (or any blockchain explorer). It goes on to mention about its self-executing smart contract: “Forsage Decentralized Matrix Project’s Smart Contract is publicly and perpetually available to view”.

The whole smart contract that Forsage has developed is built on the Ethereum blockchain, further supporting the fact that they are far from the first company to offer a decentralized smart contract.

forsage-smart-contract-blockchain

A smart contract, which is essentially a computer-programmed code with a strict set of metrics that must be met in order for a transaction to be approved. Within the smart contract, the multilevel marketing layout functioning wholly. The fee goes to the smart contract, which sends the money up the pyramid, and the new member becomes a part of the levels. Any new recruit receives a slot under them.

Though there is 0 ETH presently held in the smart contract, it holds over 100,000 transactions, and it can be found at Etherscan.

Also, the keyword decentralization – but questions remain about who setup the website, pays the hosting bill, organized the compensation plan, made the marketing videos and so on. However, due to its popularity within the crypto MLM space, let’s review Forsage’s marketed benefits and highlight the features as to why so many are seemingly interested if not joining.

Features and Benefits of Forsage

All of the features and benefits of Forsage are fairly vague in their description, mostly attempting to appeal to more knowledgeable individuals in the crypto space.

forsage-benefits

For instance, the company says that there are “zero risk factors” involved with the scheme, since anyone can view the public smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. It also states that that the smart contract is immutable, which is exactly the same as any other decentralized smart contract on Ethereum.

In an effort to seem more transparent about their actions, Forsage points out that anyone can view the smart contract’s activity online, showing the exact address (as mentioned above). Furthermore, consumers don’t have to actually reveal their identity to get involved, as the company allows users to sign up with just their Ethereum wallet.

However, the zero-risk factors claim should be examined because the whole crux of this pyramid scheme is paying in so it pays up and then rinse and repeating the cycle.

What Kind of Profits Does Forsage Promise?

According to the claims made online, Forsage manages to make a profit of $1.2 million per week (in ETH), which makes the fact that they have nothing on their smart contract even more curious. Overall, the company says that it has earned a total profit of about $3.9 million.

forsage-profit-claims

forsage-ethereum-earnings

As far as members go, the company states that they have already added nearly 10,000 new people this week, with a total of about 1,500 each day. In the entire network, there are about 32,000 participants claimed to be involved.

The dilemma or primary problem with this is the early adopters seem to all get in quick enough where the make profits because it is new and buzzing, post those results, and then share it as a hook to lure the next investors into the opportunity. This works, until it doesn’t. Whether the website gets yanked down, goes offline, or the marketing firepower dies down, all of these all but eliminate the zero-risk nature of a ticking-time bomb business model. So far, as mentioned in the opening, cryptoasset-related network marketing models have never panned out over the course of years, if not months.

The Creators Of Forsage

Though there are many claims of what Forsage can do and how they can help others, the company is noticeably silent about who may be behind the company. At the top of each “matrix” (which is the same as being the top of the pyramid), there are admins who profit the greatest. The only way consumers can even reach out to the company is through their Telegram channel, which is @smartpeoplechat.

Their website – Forsage.io – was only just registered on February 9, 2020. Obviously, this is all done as a nod to the “decentralization” keywords being showed front and center. The story seems to be painted as Bitcoin didn’t need Satoshi to succeed, so Forsage doesn’t need to mention the select few who kickstarted the whole shebang.

The Bottom Line About Forsage Blockchain MLM

All Forsage appears to be is a pyramid scheme with no product, no service, and no way of making a profit beyond a membership to the program. While it may be a glorified way of growing user adoption when it comes to using smart contracts based on blockchain distributed ledger technology, this appears to be a running-strong today, when will it collapse tomorrow scheme that many are classifying it as an Ethereum-based cash gifting model.

The only way to make money is to bring more people in, and the only attachment to cryptocurrency seems to be the fat that the membership fee is paid in ETH. The website is lacking significantly in information about the people behind Forsage or the way that the brand works, even though they claim to make over a million dollars each week.

While MLMs are legal in some areas of the world, pyramid schemes are broadly illegal in most places, including the United States. Considering the lack of products or services available, it looks like Forsage is just a pyramid scheme with anonymous people to lead it.

While the results of today may look enticing from those enjoying the current success inside Forsage, it may be shortsighted to promote an opportunity in which transparency and value added are ripe to pick at and given the nature of making a successful network marketing business to work with a cryptocurrency payment system has yet to come alive after over eleven years since blockchain has been up and running.

For those that visit Forsage.io to take a look around, please consider all of the inherent risks before joining any top-heavy pyramid structured scheme that has no sustainability baked into it aside from the continual promotion of its bottom up feeding model. Some may proclaim Forsage to be better than all the other crypto MLM scams to disrupt the industry, but at the end of the day, there are sharks in the digital waters who are always preying on new adopters coming into the space – just make sure you don’t take the bait unless you’re fully ready to swim with the sharks.

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Author: Krystle M

Tezos (XTZ) Class-Action Securities Lawsuit for the $232M ICO Sees $25M Settlement Pending

A class-action lawsuit against Tezos during its 2017 ICO may end in a $25 million settlement. The lawsuit was filed against Tezos for the illegal raising of over $232 million worth of Ether during its ICO.

Filed back in November 2017, the lawsuit by Block & Leviton on behalf of investors that participated in the ICO, claimed that Tezos violated several security laws. The Tezos Foundation also announced its settlement proposal on Mar 20th and stands strong on the belief that the lawsuit itself is baseless.

Block & Leviton informed all investors that participated in the Tezos ICO between July 1, 2017, and July 13, 2017, that they might be eligible for a share of the $25 million settlement offer.

ICO investors were asked to submit the claim of their settlement via [www.TezosFoundationSettlement.com]. Investors have until Aug 6th to object to the settlement offer and until October 16th to submit their claims.

The lawsuit accuses Tezos of being an unregistered security offering and might be the reason why Tezos has decided to settle rather than prolong the case. If Tezos is found to be an unregistered security, it may cost them up to $150 million in direct fines.

United States District Judge Richard Seeborg approved the settlement offer proposed by Tezos on April 30th. In addition, during the final hearing – scheduled for Aug 27th – will determine the legal procedure for initiating the settlement to investors. The court statement approving the settlement offer read:

“The court will likely be able to approve the settlement, subject to further consideration at the Settlement Hearing.”

Looking at recent cases like Telegram and Kik ICO’s, which were deemed as unregistered security offerings. Telegram, which conducted one of the biggest ICOs back in 2017, raising billions of dollars in the process, are now unsure if they will ever be able to launch their blockchain Gram token.

Tezos, meanwhile, wants to try and avoid falling into that same legal quagmire and appears to be considering the settlement offer.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

PwC Report Reveals 2019’s Crypto M&A’s Dropped Sharply; Total Value Decreased By 76%

The 2017 market boom led to the new era of funding in the decentralized space called ICO, however as we entered the bear market not only ICOs dropped off the fundraising radar, it also turned out that a majority of them were scams. However, despite that, the funds kept flowing in the crypto market despite the large bearish sentiment.

2019 on the contrast, which was believed to be the year of bulls by many did not see such significant investment. A recent report from PwC suggests that in 2019 most of the crypto firms kept buying each other and despite that M&A as well as funding flow in the market was at its lowest when compared to the past couple of years.

The report suggested that even though crypto native acquirers took 56% of the fund flow in 2019, the total number of such deals fell to 114 from 189 in 2018. And if we look at the overall valuation of thee deals then there was a massive drop of 76% falling from $1.9 billion in 2018 to $451 million in 2019. The report also noted an emerging trend where the market leaders who went on an accusation spree did not bother to buy out their competitors and rather focused on small firms which were mostly service providers and instead of trying to grow vertically, most of these big players are trying to expand horizontally.

Overall Fundraising Dropped by 40%

The overall fundraising in the crypto space declined by a massive 40%, although equity fundraising in comparison saw a smaller decline of just 18 percent. Even though Bitcoin price picked some pace in the last two quarters the downturn in the traditional market took a toll on crypto funding as well.

The evolving regulations around the globe did help in increasing the corporate Venture Funding in the space which contributed 6 percent of the overall funding in the crypto market. 2019 also saw a change in investment trend, where a majority of the VC funding in 2018 went towards various blockchain infrastructure providers while a majority of VC funding in 2019 went towards crypto compliance and regulatory companies.

Another pattern observed from the PwC report shows that while a majority of these funding deals were concentrated in the USA, 2019 saw these funding deals mostly moving towards the Asian and European markets. Hong Kong has become a hotspot for companies looking for retail clients which are understandable given Singapore’s newly introduced regulatory framework.

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Author: James W

Bitcoin Fever Ahead of Halving, NY Power Plant Mines $50K BTC Daily With Surplus Electricity

Since Bitcoin (BTC) value peaked at $20,000 during the 2017 bull market and became the best performing asset of the last decade, everyone has wanted a [digital] piece of it. It’s unsurprising, though, especially when since its value has increased. 9 million percent since it was developed.

Within Bitcoin’s programming, it has a pre-set number of ‘halving’ events that take place; reducing the number of BTC rewarded to its pool of miners. With added scarcity, comes more demand, and an increased hashrate with more miners vying for rewards.

Bitcoin mining has received some very special attention recently, with a New York-based power plant getting started with its own BTC mining operation. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Right! Using the electricity that it generates, the plant can generate $50,000 worth of BTC per day, according to Bloomberg. Entrepreneur, Alistaire Milne tweeted,

No More Leftovers: Bitcoin is Converting Surplus Electricity into Instant Money

The private equity firm, Atlas Holding LLC, leads the operation, with about 7,000 mining machines in operation at the Greenidge Generation plant. These machines are capable of mining approximately 5.5 Bitcoins each day.

The facility itself has had a pretty interesting history. Having been built in 1973 as a coal plant, it was later converted to natural gas production and has since become a BTC mining. hub. Because the machine works off “behind-the-meter” power, the cost is predictable and extremely low.

Out of the 115 megawatts that the plant produces, the Bitcoin mining server consumes only 13% of this. Initially, the plant was only running during the times of peak energy demand, during summer or winter, but now it’s operating year-round.

With Bitcoin developers, investors and more, nervously awaiting the eventual supply shock that comes with each halving. This facility is well placed for the coming change in the market, and its CFO knows it. Tim Rainey, the CFO at Greenidge said,

“We are in a favourable market position regardless of how the halving materializes.”

“Due to our unique position as a cogeneration facility, we are able to make money in down markets so that we’re available to catch the upside of volatile price swings.”

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Author: AnTy

Investors Increasingly Bullish As New Money Is Flowing Into Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin realized value hits ATH at $103.5 billion, up 15% from Dec. 2017 when the price was at its peak
  • The premium on bitcoin futures means investors across all platforms increasingly bullish for the upcoming months

The amount paid for all bitcoin has reached an all-time high (ATH) of $103.5 billion, as per the data provided by Glassnode, which is up about 15% from the value when the Bitcoin price hit its peak at $20,000 in December 2017.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at a five-month high of $10,138, hitting $10k for the first time since October 2019.

Created by crypto analytics firm, Coin Metrics, realized cap is an alternative approach to market cap as a measure of network valuation. The realized cap values all the coins in the network based on the last time they were moved.

This is unlike market capitalization which uses the last traded price and multiplies it by the coins in circulation, which is currently at $184 billion. Borrowed from the world of equities, the Coin Metrics team found market cap to be an empty metric when applied to cryptocurrencies.

Unlike equities, large fractions of cryptos tend to get lost, go unclaimed or remain dormant because of bugs. So, to take into account the permanently lost bitcoins, which are roughly 15% of the supply, this metric was created.

According to Arcane Research, this new high is a bullish signal but says these shifts in the realized cap should only be used as an indication. This is because a large amount of the currency bitcoin supply is held by exchange and leaves no trace on the blockchain if traded within the same exchange. Also, large BTC holders and exchanges moving coins between the wallets inflate the metric.

Investors increasingly bullish for the upcoming months

When it comes to new money flowing into the market, institutional investors are just as active as retail ones.

Retail and institutional investors are in agreement on futures bitcoin price, for the first time in several months. The premium rates for BTC are about equal across most platforms, with the premium rate on March contracts keep on rising but June premiums are decreasing, at just above 10%.

With the annualized premium rates for both February and March bitcoin futures contracts above 20%, this means, “Investors across all platforms are increasingly bullish for the upcoming months,” found Arcane Research.

Meanwhile, roughly 500 contacts, 2500 BTC worth of interest rolled off for the second week in a row on CME, “in contract to near-record highs on Bitmex,” as per Market Science’s COT Report.

The trading volume for these contacts is also pushing to new highs, reaching over $600 million last week, the highest since the price topped last summer. January saw an increase of 250% in daily volume.

However, these trading activities are still far from retail exchanges like BitMEX which sees daily trading volume 10x of CME.

The net short positioning of the largest layers in the CME futures markets, leveraged funds meanwhile, has increased “significantly” from last week. Other reportable positions, on the other hand, flipped net-long after being net-short much of 2019.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple’s Big Plans for 2020: XRP as a Medium of Exchange & Not as a Speculative Investment

  • XRP price drops on Sept. 2017 level on Dec. 27th But seeing much development especially in Japan
  • Big banking executives went from skepticism to advocacy about digital assets
  • 2020 Ripple will be focused on new utility and use cases for XRP & new products to come

2019 is just about to come to an end. The year saw cryptocurrencies experiencing tremendous growth and first-ever working President, Donald Trump, tweeting about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. As Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said, that moment couldn’t have been predicted.

For the third-largest cryptocurrency, price wise it has been a bad year. XRP dropped to a new low to $0.186 on Dec. 27, a level last seen in late Sept. 2017 during the bull run.

Down 95% from the all-time high, XRP is currently trading at $0.194, as per Coincodex.

2019 was a Big Year

XRP price might only be going down but the cryptocurrency is seeing much development especially in Japan.

“In Japan, almost every bank has started to work with XRP, what you may know as Ripple,” said David Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace.

Also, as Garlinghouse shared in the special holiday episode of The Ripple Drop, Ripple bagged MoneyGram in 2019 that uses the digital asset XRP to move funds. The transition from the skepticism towards digital currencies among MoneyGram executives to advocacy has been an ‘aha’ moment for Garlinghouse.

2019 saw the number of companies using XRP growing to 17 including TransferGo, Interbank, Euro Exim Bank, MoneyGram, Bitso, Bittrex, Bitstamp, FlashFX, Viamericas, Bitrue, Mercury FX, Coins.ph, goLance, Nium (formerly InstaReM), SBI Virtual Currencies, Catalyst, IDT, SendFriend, and Cuallix.

What was surprising in 2019 was how quickly people went from not caring about privacy to very concerned about how much Facebook and Google own their private data, shared Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple.

Privacy he said became a mainstream topic of discussion in 2019 when it could have taken a lot longer.

XRP as a Medium of Exchange

Cryptocurrencies have been in existence for a few years now but they are still a speculative asset. Especially for XRP, it isn’t to fund the company either as Ripple CTO David Schwartz clarifies.

“Nobody buys XRP to give Ripple money to do things. We were vc/angel funded and were going to build regardless. We started selling XRP only after there was a market price and for negligible amounts compared to our other funding.”

However, now the company is focused on becoming a medium of exchange, “Our vision is to use digital currencies as a medium of exchange, not as a speculative investment,” said Ripple’s CEO in Brazil, Luiz Antonio Sacco.

The company is working towards expanding partnerships with Brazilian banks by 2020 as demand for cheap and instant solutions in the international remittance market grows rapidly.

In October, Ripple invested in Bitso to expand operations in Latin America with a focus on Brazil.

Now Big Things Coming for 2020

Going into 2020, the Ripple team is expecting big things.

Garlinghouse sees continued consolidation in 2020 as there is no need for 3,000 cryptocurrencies and 99% will eventually go away.

Breanne Madigan, head of the Global Institutional Markets at Ripple meanwhile is excited to build on On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) that leverages XRP.

“We here at Ripple are focused on new utility and use cases for XRP through our Xpring initiative and we are excited about new products to come in 2020,” projected Madigan.

Another thing that Ripple will focus on next year is fake volume as Madigan said, “We think about a lot in the Ripple, and we have made some noise about it is the persistence of fake volumes in the industry.”

As for, in the next decade, Ethan Beard, SVP of Xpring sees cryptocurrencies replacing the underpinnings of the infrastructure of the finance industry.

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Author: AnTy